Filed Under:Agent Broker, Commercial Business

California hit with series of El Niño-fueled rain storms causing flooding, mudslides

A sign warning of flooded road is posted along the Pacific Coat Highway in Malibu, Calif. after a heavy rain on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. Californians were warned against abandoning conservation efforts Tuesday as several weeks of storms spawned by El Niño began hitting the West Coast. Heavy rain and snow are welcome after four years of drought in California, despite their potential for causing flash floods and mudslides. (Photo: Nick Ut/AP Photo)
A sign warning of flooded road is posted along the Pacific Coat Highway in Malibu, Calif. after a heavy rain on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. Californians were warned against abandoning conservation efforts Tuesday as several weeks of storms spawned by El Niño began hitting the West Coast. Heavy rain and snow are welcome after four years of drought in California, despite their potential for causing flash floods and mudslides. (Photo: Nick Ut/AP Photo)

Editor's note: Additional photos added 8 p.m. ET.

A series of El Niño-driven storms drenched California on Tuesday, the first wave of what could be weeks of precipitation that brings the threat of major flooding and other damage to the parched state.

The National Weather Service has issued flash flood watches for much of the coast from San Diego to San Francisco. Of particular concern is mud flows that could hit areas recently ravaged by wildfires.

Areas vulnerable to floodwaters and mudslides were on high alert amid rain that set a record in Los Angeles. Rising waters trapped cars in San Diego County, and a flash flood watch on Tuesday night covered the entire Bay Area.

Highway 101 was closed southbound Tuesday, about 4 miles south of the Santa Barbara/Ventura County line, because of a mudflow. 

Take a look at photos showing the impact of the heavy rains across California:

Chris Lene sweeps water out of one of the businesses in the building he owns that was flooded by rain water Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif.

Chris Lene sweeps water out of one of the businesses in the building he owns that was flooded by rain water Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. El Niño storms lined up in the Pacific promise to drench parts of the West for more than two weeks and increase fears of mudslides and flash floods in regions stripped bare by wildfires. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo)

Vehicles slow on Interstate 80 during a winter rain storm Tuesday, Jan 5, 2016, in San Leandro, Calif.

Vehicles slow on Interstate 80 during a winter rain storm Tuesday, Jan 5, 2016, in San Leandro, Calif. El Niño storms lined up in the Pacific, promising to drench parts of the West for more than two weeks and increasing fears of mudslides and flash floods in regions stripped bare by wildfires. At least two more storms are expected to follow on Wednesday and Thursday, bringing as much as 3 inches of rain. (Photo: Ben Margot/AP Photo) 

Authorities investigate a multi-vehicle crash involving a semi-truck in the westbound lane of Foothill 210 Freeway at Sierra Madre Blvd., Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in Pasadena, Calif.

Authorities investigate a multi-vehicle crash involving a semi-truck in the westbound lane of Foothill 210 Freeway at Sierra Madre Blvd., Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in Pasadena, Calif. Persistent wet conditions could put some Los Angeles County communities at risk of flash flooding along with mud and debris flows, especially in wildfire burn areas. El Niño storms lined up in the Pacific, promising to drench parts of the West for more than two weeks and increasing fears of mudslides and flash floods in regions stripped bare by wildfires. (Photo: Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo)

Traffic goes around a flooded roadway from high tides and rain Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in Mill Valley, Calif.

Traffic goes around a flooded roadway from high tides and rain Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in Mill Valley, Calif. El Niño storms lined up in the Pacific, promising to drench parts of the West for more than two weeks and increasing fears of mudslides and flash floods in regions stripped bare by wildfires. Stronger systems are predicted starting Tuesday following light rain a day earlier. At least two more storms are expected to follow on Wednesday and Thursday, possibly bringing as much as 3 inches of rain. (Photo:Eric Risberg/AP Photo)

 Traffic goes around a flooded roadway from high tides and rain Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in Mill Valley, Calif.

Traffic goes around a flooded roadway from high tides and rain Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in Mill Valley, Calif. (Photo: Eric Risberg/AP Photo)

Los Angeles County Flood Control District crews inspect a flood inlet in Azusa, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016.

Los Angeles County Flood Control District crews inspect a flood inlet in Azusa, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. (Photo: Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo)

Residents Trina Gonzalez, left, and Todd Peterson stockpile sandbags to protect their homes from the rain in Glendora, Calif., Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.

Residents Trina Gonzalez, left, and Todd Peterson stockpile sandbags to protect their homes from the rain in Glendora, Calif., Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. After all the talk, El Niño storms have finally lined up over the Pacific and started soaking drought-parched California with rain expected to last for most of the next two weeks, forecasters said Monday. (Photo: Nick Ut/AP Photo)

A man rides his bike past a flooded roadway Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in Mill Valley, Calif.

A man rides his bike past a flooded roadway Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in Mill Valley, Calif.  (Photo: Eric Risberg/AP Photo)

A car navigates through a flood water as it turns into a parking lot Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif.

A car navigates through a flood water as it turns into a parking lot Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo)

Concrete barriers are set to protect homes from flash flooding in Glendora, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016.

Concrete barriers are set to protect homes from flash flooding in Glendora, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. (Photo: Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo)

A pickup truck makes is way down a flooded road along the Pacific Coat Highway in Malibu, Calif. after a heavy rain on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016.

A pickup truck makes is way down a flooded road along the Pacific Coat Highway in Malibu, Calif. after a heavy rain on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. (Photo: Nick Ut/AP Photo) 

A home that was red-tagged due to debris flow breaking through its retaining wall is seen above a lower neighbor's property overlooking Pasadena, Calif., on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016.

A home that was red-tagged due to debris flow breaking through its retaining wall is seen above a lower neighbor's property overlooking Pasadena, Calif., on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. The current El Nino system, a natural warming of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean that interacts with the atmosphere and changes weather worldwide, has tied a system in 1997-1998 as the strongest on record. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Ken Berhmann stands on his porch as storm flooding and mudslides flow through his property in Monrovia, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016.

Ken Berhmann stands on his porch as storm flooding and mudslides flow through his property in Monrovia, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. A wildfire two years ago stripped away vegetation and loosened soil.  (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

A homeless encampment is left abandoned along the Arroyo Seco north of downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016.

A homeless encampment is left abandoned along the Arroyo Seco north of downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. Los Angeles authorities say police are patrolling riverbeds to compel homeless people to leave low-lying areas as a major storm gains strength and rain gets heavier. Steady and sometimes heavy rain in Southern California is shaking loose rocks and causing flooding on some roadways as an El Nino-powered storm moves through the region. (AP Photo/Christopher Weber)

 

Related: El Niño's peak has weather forecaster warning of La Niña

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